Posted by: frroberts | May 20, 2015

Essential Catholic Reference Books

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RSV Catholic Edition.

This translation of the Bible is a slight adaptation of the RSV Bible, a revision of the King James Version and widely used among Protestants in the English speaking world, with minor corrections in translations of the New Testament that are not in accord with the Catholic faith. It is also boasts being the version of the Bible used in English translations of Papal documents after 1965. The size of this Bible is ideal.

The Knox Bible

The Navarre Bible — New Testament, Expanded Edition.

This New Testament commentary is an English-language adaptation of the University of Navarre’s excellent multi-volume Bible commentary. It provides extensive notes to help the reader deepen her comprehension of the New Testament, drawing from the Fathers, saints, doctors of the Church and the Papal and Conciliar Magisterium. An excellent resource for study and devotion!

Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament.

Finding a good Bible commentary is not easy for Catholics. Some commentaries focus overmuch on historical and critical information about the Bible in such a way that the reader either starts to question the inerrancy of Scripture or is simply bored to death by seemingly irrelevant historical background. More readable commentaries often fail to interpret the Bible in the context of the Church’s two thousand year-old interpretative tradition, missing points of contact between Sacred Tradition, especially the Sacraments, and Sacred Scripture. This commentary, completed under the supervision of Dr. Scott Hahn, is both readable and deeply rooted in the Catholic faith. Every Catholic home should have a copy!

Pocket RSV CE Bible.

Catechism of the Catholic Church.

What does the Catholic Church actually teach about a given subject? Recourse to a favorite internet search engine leads to confusion as often as it leads to clarity. Very often adult Catholics stopped receiving religious education in their teens, precisely when they started to become capable of understanding some of the more subtle teachings of the Church. As a consequence many well-educated adult Catholics often have a functional religious education appropriate to a twelve year-old, if that. This compendium of Catholic dogma that was completed in 1994 is quite readable for one with a college degree. Along with the Bible, it is a book that every adult Catholic should read from cover-to-cover at least once.

The Documents of Vatican II.

Daily Roman Missal.

Pocket New Testament.

Liturgy of the Hours.

The Didache Bible.

The last word in Catholic Study Bibles.

A New Testament Commentary for English Readers: The Gospels.

A New Testament Commentary for English Readers: The Acts of the Apostles and Paul’s Letters to Churches.

A New Testament Commentary for English Readers: The Later Epistles/The Apocalypse.


  1. Thanks for your recommendations, Father. My son goes to public school. He attends RE on the weekends, but I just don’t feel it’s enough religious education (there’s only so much instruction an RE teacher can give in 50 minutes once a week). We try to read the daily scripture together, but I haven’t been sharing much catechism of the church with him. There’s so much to cover, I’m not even sure where to start and what’s age-appropriate. Do you have any suggestions for a “home school” type religion program that could guide a family through more RE at home?


  2. Father Lovasik is good, I have heard.


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